Budgeting gets a bad rap, but that’s because it’s not often thought about in the right way.
It’s not meant to make you feel bad about your spending habits, it’s meant to help you become aware of how your spending relates to what you value, and what makes you happy.
Some people come back from a 12-hour day in busy season and there’s nothing that makes them happier than to use Uber Eats™ to order a “fat double layer burrito” from their favorite Mexican restaurant.
Others are completely content with a homemade chicken dish, because they know they’re saving now on food and would like to put more money towards a vacation later in the year.
There is no right answer here. Every person has different opinions on what they like to spend money on. The goal for all of us though is to make sure we’re happy with where we spend our money.
The first step is to identify what you really care about. Take some time and jot down some long-term goals. From here you can use a budget to see where you spend, and identify how that compares with your goals. For those discretionary expenses that don’t do much for you, make some adjustments to put yourself on the track that you want to be on.
This doesn’t mean that you have to spend 5 minutes in the chip aisle deciding between store brand tortilla chips and Tostitos™, but it does involve thinking about your overall spending habits to see if they’re aligned with what you truly care about.
For me, the expenses that I’m trying to cut back on in 2021 include:
- Ordering takeout
- Subscriptions (Sorry to my Coffee Club)
So that I can put more of my money toward:
- Sox games (Even an O’s fan still enjoys trips to Fenway)
- Sports leagues and nights out with friends
The truth is, there’s no right way to spend, just as there is no right way to budget. What should be top of mind however is what makes you happy. The beauty of a budget is to let you see how you spend, so that you can put more of your money toward what you enjoy and less toward what you don’t.
If you have questions about how you may be able to better align your finances with your values, feel free to reach out, I’d be happy to help.
All the best,
Financial Planning Solutions, LLC (FPS) is a Registered Investment Advisor. Financial Planning Solutions, LLC (FPS) provides this blog for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing in this blog should be considered investment, tax, or legal advice. FPS only renders personalized advice to each client. Information herein includes opinions and source information that is believed to be reliable. However, such information may not be independently verified by FPS. Please see important disclosures link at the bottom of this page.